SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 62 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 61 can be found here.
Sorry for the delay on this post. Gen Con recovery certainly was a thing! Speaking of which, this episode was Critical Role LIVE from Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis! I was lucky enough to actually watch in person!
Vox Machina continues their journey through the Feywild to the Shademurk in search of the legendary bow, Fenthras.
Previously on Critical Role
The party found themselves trapped in the Moonbrush, a mystical forest inhabited by two feuding factions. One side, the lycans and the other, the pixies. After attempting to strike a deal with both sides, they eventually were cornered into attacking the pixies and aided the lycans in destroying them, deactivating the magic seal used to trap them all inside. The lycan leader, the werewolf Ukurat, pledged his aid to the party for freeing his brethren. The party prepares for the final leg of their journey.
The party wakes from their camp in the trees on the edge of the Moonbrush. They prepare for the day ahead before journeying further Duskward. They catch their first glimpse of the Shademurk, surrounded by its tangled halo of rivers and rapids, the Gilded Run.
There is a flash of bright light, and the divine energy form of Pike appears.
Scanlan shouts “NO! NO! We are not supposed to trust ANYTHING in the Feywild!”
Pike: “Its me! Its me!”
“Only one way to find out!” And he runs up and kisses her.
“Oh. Well…that was fast….”
Vex suggests that Vax scout ahead and use his wings to fly across the rivers. He ducks into the tall grass and begins making his way to there. Vex decides to follow him on her broom as he stealthy approaches.
They reach the riverbanks and Vax extends his wings and glides across. Vex continues to follow on her broom.
“Was that so hard, sister? Really?”
“You wasted your whole hour of flight for that?”
Vax sighs and ducks under her broom to continue forward. He knocks it out from under her with one of his large raven wings. She lands hard in the mud the broom spiraling out landing partially in the river, the current beginning to take it. She scrambles in a panic and grabs it before the water can fully claim it.
She swings the broom to whack her brother in the face. He deftly ducks out of the way, unfurling his wings and gliding across the next river.
“I hate you sometimes!”
“I know, sister!”
Vex remounts her broom and follows Vax. Vex watches as her brother inexplicably dips into a dive and plunges into the river. Before she can react, she feels an impulse of her own and begins diving as well. She is unable to shake the effect and joins her brother in the rushing waters.
The party, still two rivers away, watches the two drop into the water out of sight with too splashes.
Grog: “Did we tell them to go fishin’?
The party attempts to rush to their aid. Grog grabs both Pike and Scanlan and leaps across the first river, the gnomes on his shoulders. Percy attempts to follow them but catches his boot on a rock and falls short.
The rivers begin sweeping the twins and Percy away. The twins begin drowning.
Vex struggles against the water but manages to cast grasping vine to create a tether out of the aquatic vegetation to yank herself out onto the bank.
Keyleth: ‘So the river doesn’t hate magic?”
Vex, weary and still recovering from nearly drowning: “I…don’t…know…”
Keyleth casts control water and manages to slow the current enough for Percy to come to a stop. She is unable maintain control against the river’s magical fury and the water quickly swells again picking Percy back up.
Vax continues to drown. Scanlan steps up and sings a song to inspire himself to the melody of “Alexander Hamilton”:
Scanlan Shorthalt, I’m a gnome
My name is Scanlan Shorthalt, I’m a gnome
There is a million chicks I haven’t boned
But just you wait, just you wait
Freshly inspired, he casts Bigby’s hand and sends it plunging into the river. It emerges a moment later, Vax in hand, and lays him on the opposite bank.
Keyleth tells Grog to grab Percy.
“Fuck yeah!” Grog takes out his alchemy jug and puts it on his head “like a diving bell”, ties his chain of returning to his waste and hands it to Pike, and wades into the river after Percy.
The force of the river nearly takes Grog away as well, but Pike, with her gauntlets of ogre strength, holds strong. Grog is able to to grab Percy, but Pike begins to slip. Keyleth is able to slow the water enough for them to both escape the current safely.
Percy orients himself and compliments Grog on his sudden ingenuity. “Grog, that was actually very clever with the pot. Very clever.”
“Right, I figured if anything was gonna hit me in the head it would hit the jug first!”
“That’s less clever.”
The group realizes they still have about twelve rivers to cross.
Grog: “Lets just go home. Fuck it.”
They debate the best way to cross the remaining rivers. Vex tells them about the mind effect they experienced when they tried to fly. Percy suggest some method of tethering themselves to each other and attempting to wade/swim across. This idea doesn’t get much traction.
Grog gets bored and becomes very enthusiastic about the idea of chopping down a tree to make some sort of bridge or raft. Remembering what happened when Keyleth picked a flower in the Feywild the party is adamantly against this course of action.
They realize Garmelie is still back were they started. Vex calls out to him: “Have you heard any stories about how people have crossed these rivers before.”
“I told you! I’ve heard about this land, I haven’t actually been here!”
“I know! What have you heard!”
“Its dangerous and it keeps the Shademurk from spreading!”
Grog: “Hey Garmelie! Jump in the river!”
Scanlan directs his still active Bigby’s hand to sweep up from behind Garmelie, scooping him up and hurling the unsuspecting Satyr across as many rivers as possible.
The satyr lands with a thud five rivers away and lays motionless in the dirt.
Scanlan: “I may have just killed him.”
They watch for an awkwardly long time before Garmelie slowly raises a hand in a thumbs up which then changes to a middle finger, for Scanlan specifically.
Scanlan determines that the other side of ALL the rivers is within the range of his dimension door and the party formulates the plan to have Scanlan and Pike teleport to the other side with the immovable rod (“Set it and forget it!”) and to have Vex shoot an arrow attached to the infinite string to tie to it.
Scanlan and Pike arrive on the edge of the Shademurk and land and sink a few inches into the sludge-like ground. Vex fires her arrow and they manage to tie off the rope to the immovable rod.
The party ties themselves off to the rope in a chain, Grog, Percy, Vex, Vax, and Keyleth bringing up the rear! Scanlan reminds them to leave slack for Garmelie for when they catch up to him.
Keyleth attempts to continue to slow the water but is unable to overpower the magical current.
The group manages to fight the current across several rivers. They eventually reach Garmelie, who ties himself onto the chain between the two twins. The meager slack pulls taught as they start moving and his small form is lifted off the ground by the tension. He is slightly top heavy and flips over so his cloven hoves are kicking in the are.
They continue forward. In a fit of frustration Keyleth manages to completely part the river and the party darts across. Grog steps on something that moves beneath his foot in the muck.
“I think I stepped on a catfish.”
The river roars and crashes closed being them as Keyleth drops her magical influence, swelling over its banks before settling at its normal level.
The group moves on to the next river and Keyleth manages to part this one as well. The Vox Machina chain runs across this one too, but before they can reach the other side, massive jaws erupt from the mud and water at Grog, clamping onto him and pulling the goliath and entire chain of heroes onto the river bank.
A massive crocodile-like creature has Grog clamped in its jaws, its long body seems to be partially resemble plants, its feet and side sprouting roots that dig into the ground, constantly rooting and uprooting itself as it moves.
Keyelth casts speak with plants and attempts to sternly persuade the creature into releasing Grog:
The crocodile stares her down and clamps down harder on Grog to spite her. She attempts to move away but realizes the party is still all tethered together.
Still in the crearure’s jaws, Grog flies into a frenzied rage and bashes twice it in its face with ax.
Grog watches the head wounds begin to slowly heal as it draws energy from the ground via its roots. The croc throws him into the air and swallows him whole, pulling the whole chain closer to him. Percy now finds himself uncomfortably close to the creature’s jaws.
Vex sends Trinket out of her locket to attack the creature. He lashes out and strikes it twice with his claws.
Percy pulls out his pistol attempts to disorient the creature with a headshot and succeeds. He shoots again into the crocs mouth, critically fails, shooting Grog insode the croc instead. Insult to injury, his pistol also jams after the discharge. He quickly clears the jam and tries to back up pulling the rope out of the crocs mouth.
‘Everyone pull!” Percy strains but makes no progress.
Vax flings two daggers at the creature.
Garmelie looks panicked. Vex yells for him to sing a song or charm him. He pulls out a pan flute and plays a tune, pauses a moment. There is no effect. “Shit.”
Pike casts a guiding bolt from her position across the river. ‘Because my best friend is in his belly!”
Scanlan: “But Pike, I’m standing right next to you!”
Her bolt streaks across and strikes the creature in the head.
Scanlan inspires Keyleth, then whips out his wand of magic missiles and fires eight darts, not at the creature but at the segments of rope between each of the party. The streaks of energy fly past the creature, looping around and striking the rope, severing their tethers.
Keyleth casts blight sending necrotic energy coursing through the crocs body. It is incredibly effective as it is a plant creature. “I said spit him out! That is caca!”
The creature survives but is much worse for wear.
Grog attempts to retrieve his alchemy jug while inside the creatures stomach, but changes his mind and instead activates the titanstone knuckles and casts enlarge on himself.
The croc begins to gag and it regurgitates Grog has he swells one size larger, landing in a puddle of bile. Grog leaps to his feet and tries to pull the chain of his friends away only to realize the rope has been severed.
The creature lashes out and catches Percy in its jaws this time. It also swings its tail at Vex again, this time landing a hit with its stinger. Vex begins to hallucinate at the venom enters her body.
“I’m trippin’ balls.”
In her hallucinatory state, Vex takes off running in a random direction. She falls through what appears to her as an open grass field into water as she actually ran directly into the rushing river. She shakes the hallucination just in time to realize the current is now sweeping her away.
Percy draws his sword while in the creatures mouth and whacks it in the face a few times knocking off a few chunks of flesh.
Vax dashes away from the creature to help his sister, ducking under the tail that lashes out at him. He extends a hand out for her but just can’t reach.
Garmelie runs over grabbing Vax’s hand and reaches out to grab Vex’s, creating a chain. They stop her from being carried by the current but can’t pull her in yet.
Pike calls down a flame strike on the creature’s back. A column of divine flame crashes down atop the creature dissipating to reveal a large charred wound on its back. She punctuates the act with a healing word for Percy.
Scanlan casts eye bite and makes the creature sick and inspires Grog with a limerick:
A warning from your favorite bard
In the Feywild you should be on guard
I went off to take a shitter
And saw like a thousand critters
And they kinda made me hard
Keyleth casts blight again. She twirls her staff around and slams into onto the ground. The necrotic energy kills the grass as it snakes out across the ground from her staff. It crawls up the creatures roots and begins killing the creature from the inside out. Its body begins to harden and crack. The plant matter of its body hardening into petrified wood. Its back arcs raising Percy in the air, still stuck in its mouth.
Garmelie and Vax continue to struggle to hang on to Vex. They can’t seem to pull her against the current. Trinket comes up and grabs the back of Vax’s collar and helps pull the trio safely to the bank.
Grog gleefully steps up to “help” Percy get down. “DO I FINALLY GET TO CHOP DOWN A TREE!?” In his giant form, he cleaves through the creature in a single swipe. It shatters into a pieces.
Keyleth kneels down to the grass that was caught in the crossfire of her blight spell and apologizes profusely to it. Druidcrafting more sprouts to begin replacing the dead patches. Her still active speak to plants spell reveals that the grass is pretty indifferent about the whole thing.
Percy gives Keyleth a piece of the petrified creature. “Here you go. Well done.”
The party turns to cross the remaining river. Grog has an idea. “Wait, I’m really big right now! How about I just throw everyone across!”
He turns and offers to skip Vax across the river. Vax declines and gets a running start and just barely clears it with a jump.
Grog tosses Percy across. He lands, tucks his shoulder and rolls. Dirtying his jacket in the sludge-like ground but rolling to his feet unharmed. Vex gets tossed next, planting on a tree trunk to slow her decent landing gracefully on her toes. Lastly Grog hurls Keyleth, who clears the river easily but lands face first in the muck, sliding to stop.
Grog turns to Garmelie.
“Don’t worry. You first. Once you are across, our agreement is complete.”
Grog grabs him. Garmelie protests “I don’t really need to go there. I’m just going to go back the other direction.”
“I totally hear what your sayin’. We’re goin’ for a ride, bitch.” Giant Grog leaps across the river in a single bound.
Garmelie screams the whole flight. Grog lands with the satyr frantically clinging to his arm.
He gets down off of Grog and rights himself. “Very well! Welcome to the Shademurk! Good luck!”
Grog asks him, “You want to see what happens at the end of the journey? You want to come with us, right?”
Garmelie looks past them into the depths of the Shademurk. Every surface coated in a thick dark sludge that seems to be oozing out of everything, slowly creeping across the ground to the edges of the bog before being swept away by the Gilded Run. The satyr looks back to the party. “No…I’m alright.”
He bids them farewell and gives them a last word of warning. Don’t stay still. The longer they stay still the harder it will be for them to escape that spot.
Vex gives him a kiss on the forehead. Garmelie is flattered unkowning that Vex is patting him down for anything he might have stolen. She finds the small dog figurine she had picked up in Syngorn. “Oh, uh, I was holding this for you.”
Grog asks how he plans to get back across. Garmelie assures him that he has his ways. Grog gestures to himself, wordlessly offering to throw the satyr. Garmelie quickly bids them farewell and goes invisible before Grog can take further action.
The party begins trudging deeper into the bog, slowed by the thick sludge ground. Vex, as a ranger, is unhindered. She allows the gnomes to ride on her broom to keep them out of the muck.
The party discovers a hut made out of a tree in the distance.
Keyleth communes with nature and is treated with a nightmare of pain and sorrow instead of the usual serene experience with the spell. She determines that the hut is not the tree they are looking for.
The gnomes fly forward on the broom to investigate, much to Vex’s anxiety. They peek through the window and see the interior of a comfortable home. The see the rear of a high-backed chair in front of a fire. A gnarled hand reaches out from behind it and lifts a tea cup from the side table.
The door of the hut opens on its own. Fearing this is the home of a hag, and the hut Garmelie warned them about, the gnomes make their retreat on the broom. Suddenly the broom stops flying dropping into the muck. Pike grabs it and Scanlan makes them both invisible.
They get back to the party. Vex fears her broom has been permanently broken. But it springs to life as normal. She seems more relieved it is okay than Scanlan or Pike.
The party stands on the outskirts of the clearing. The door to the hut ajar, tempting them to enter.
To be continued…
New Critical Role Recaps will be here on ProjectDerailed.com every Tuesday!
Critical Role Catch-Ups, doodle recaps just like these, starting at Episode 1, are still in the works. Once they start they will be on Thursdays!
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Is it Thursday yet?